Early intervention of eating- and weight-related problems

Denise E. Wilfley, Anna Vannucci, Emily K. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obesity and other eating-related problems are widespread and are associated with harmful physical, psychological, and social problems. The dramatic increases in rates of pediatric obesity has created a mounting need for psychologists and other mental health care providers to play a significant role in the assessment and treatment of youth with eating- and weight-related problems. Therefore, it is imperative for providers to be aware of the causes and consequences of eating- and weight-related problems and to be familiar with evidence-based assessment and intervention approaches. Currently, the most well-established intervention approaches are family-based behavioral treatments, and weight loss maintenance treatments with a socio-ecological focus are promising. This paper provides a comprehensive review of these topics and highlights the important roles that mental health care providers can have. Medical settings are often the patient's first point of contact within the healthcare system, making mental health care providers in such settings uniquely suited to assess for a broad range of eating- and weight-related problems and associated comorbidities, to deliver relevant evidence-based interventions, and to make appropriate referrals. Moving forward, providers and researchers must work together to address key questions related to the nature of eating- and weight-related problems in youth and to achieve breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of such problems in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of clinical psychology in medical settings
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Binge eating
  • Childhood obesity
  • Food reinforcement
  • Impulsivity
  • Intervention
  • Satiety responsiveness

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